Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (3):177-183 (2014)
AbstractLewis argued that ‘there is no way to interpret a conditional connective so that, with sufficient generality, the probabilities of conditionals will equal the appropriate conditional probabilities’. However, as Lewis and others have subsequently recognized, Lewis' triviality results go through only on the assumption that ‘if’ is not context-sensitive. This leaves a question that has not been adequately addressed: what are the prospects of a context-sensitive theory of ‘if’ that complies with Stalnaker's thesis? I offer one interesting constraint on any such theory. I argue that no context-sensitive theory satisfies Stalnaker's thesis if it satisfies three plausible assumptions: first, that the truth of an indicative is determined by the world of evaluation and by the set of worlds in the relevant epistemic context in which the antecedent is true; second, that one can learn an indicative conditional without learning that the antecedent and consequent are both true; third, that belief revision is conservative in the sense that it does not reduce the probabilities to zero unnecessarily. The result gives us a clearer picture of the real costs of a truth-conditional context-sensitive Stalnaker's thesis-compliant semantics
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References found in this work
Probabilities of Conditionals and Conditional Probabilities.David Lewis - 1976 - Philosophical Review 85 (3):297-315.
Probabilities of Conditionals and Conditional Probabilities II.David Lewis - 1986 - Philosophical Review 95 (4):581-589.
Citations of this work
Triviality Results and the Relationship Between Logical and Natural Languages.Justin Khoo & Matthew Mandelkern - 2019 - Mind 128 (510):485-526.
Triviality Results, Conditional Probability, and Restrictor Conditionals.Jonathan Vandenburgh - manuscript
Revisiting McGee’s Probabilistic Analysis of Conditionals.John Cantwell - 2022 - Journal of Philosophical Logic (5):1-45.
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